..Well---I agree with and practice almost all the above. Not so much on the, " Read challenging books by great authors ". I'm a born again Christian and for the most part have read and studied the Scriptures for the last 47 years of my life, (with some biographies etc.)..
One of the things we enjoy most in America are the basic freedoms our constitution and bill of rights guarantee us. With these freedoms come great responsibilities. We can believe whatever we want to believe. And whatever we 'believe' in a subjective sense, be it religious or political, practical or highly improbable, we have the freedom to seek out others of a similar mindset to enhance, encourage and support us in our beliefs.
These 'freedoms' are essential to the American way of life. They're the primary reason that immigrants, from nation states where freedom means you toe the line and commit to the religious, political, social tenants the ruling class dictates as essential, find it off-putting that Americans don't 'believe' or 'practice' in a religious sense as they do. Their Scriptures tell them that anyone who doesn't follow 'the truth', as they've been led to believe 'the truth' is, can only be seen as 'less than fully human', displeasing to the 'god' they worship - worthy of the 'wrath' of 'righteous believers' like themselves in defense of whatever version of 'the truth' they subscribe to.
It's great that we enjoy these freedoms. But it's sad when religious practitioners (of any stripe) seek to 'push' their 'beliefs' on those who don't hold to similar beliefs - and support this activity by reference to the 'Scriptures' they look to as substantiating their particular version of 'the truth'.
.....So many folks work so hard all their lives with the dream of all the wonderful things they'll get to do when they retire as their motivation. Unfortunately too many find their dreams shattered as they age and live out the rest of their years in disappointment and often much bitterness, and have no hope in this life or the life ever after..
Life is what we make of it. If we're survivors, people who enjoy the challenges life throws at us and the opportunities these bring, whatever our age we'll find each day is a gift of its own.
Whatever provides 'peace and joy', as long as it doesn't look down in any way on those who don't share similar beliefs - not even in private - on a purely subjective level that doesn't require much except saying 'yes' at appropriate times and nodding one's head in agreement as a favorite 'teacher' instructs followers in the 'right way' to believe.
It's understandable that you find it difficult to read 'outside the box' that your chosen religious beliefs surround you with. That's common with all subjective belief systems. Nor would I encourage you to broaden your horizons - unless of course you make that decision yourself.
If you were to investigate closely you'd dig up hard truths that would challenge the contemporary version of the belief structure you lean on. In that case the 'peace and joy' you find in the subjective beliefs you hold to might not survive, at least not intact in the form they now appear in. They'd be simply pieces of the puzzle you'd have to put back together from the ground up - not an easy task I assure you, but worth it in the end..
A wonderful 4th of July to you and yours!..